A Century Since Tulsa Massacre

American Civilians Bombed from the Air by American Planes

It is 100 years since the terrible Tulsa, Oklahoma massacre / riot.

The Official Oklahoma Site

The official Oklahoma state report says people, including some agents of government, deliberately destroyed 1,256 homes “alongwith virtually every other structure in the Greenwood district, including churches, schools, businesses, even a hospital and library.”

Buck Colbert Franklin, a prominent Black lawyer in Tulsa, described attacks on American civilians from the air, and Franklin’s 10-page, typewritten first-person account of the incident was only discovered in 2015 and donated to the Smithsonian’s African American History Museum.

The resulting devastation was immense. Most of the affuent black area of Greenwood was totally destroyed. Not by “riot” as the media even back then attempted to deflect from the causes, but by the deliberate destruction initiated by the white population. It has been called a massacre, though like all massacres, the actual death toll is difficult to determine and some of the dead were white. But somewhere around the low hundreds is presumed to be the death toll.

The destruction of the wealthy Black neighbourhood of Greenwood, Tulsa, 1921

And although Tulsa is not quite “the forgotten massacre”, as many instances of mass killing are, it is none-the-less often referred to in the media as a “riot” or “race riot”.

Most people would challenge that characterization. But, at least this tragic event is recognized in some way, and hopefully, not just each 100 years.

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